Australia’s largest CNC grinding machine manufacturer achieved strong growth by outsourcing its tool management.
Laying claim to 30 per cent growth in a shrinking manufacturing sector is no mean feat.
A series of smart business decisions have enabled CNC grinding machine manufacturer ANCA to grow into new global markets.
Mark Patman, global operations manager for ANCA said: “We attribute the growth to increased market demand, our decision to invest in research and development and its commitment to implementing policies of innovation and technology.
“We have an enviable position in the market, which we’ve worked hard to achieve. It’s a challenging but exciting time here as it’s all hands on deck to ramp up our manufacturing to meet market demand,” Patman explains.
“We manufacture between 650 and 700 CNC machines every year, with around four variations offered to the market,” he says.
ANCA is a market leader of high quality CNC tool and cutter grinders. The company is renowned for the flexibility of its tool design software and machines, which enable you to produce a wide variety of complex tools. These include grinding endmills, profile cutters, burrs and punches.
The company employs just over 400 staff at its global headquarters in Melbourne, with more than 40 engineers to drive their ever-advancing technology breakthroughs. Globally they have a team of over 1,000 people located in their key markets.
To stand out in traditional manufacturing markets like Germany and Japan, ANCA has built its reputation as being first to market with new technology. Much of this innovation has been driven by customer demands. At ANCA there is no problem too difficult to solve with some of their best new product developers designed as bespoke customer solutions.
ANCA manufactures CNC grinders and machines for various industry sectors including automotive, electronics, medical, defence, mining, aerospace and more. It exports 99 per cent of its machines into Asia, Europe and the Americas. ANCA has around 2,500 customers in 45 countries and a comprehensive global network of sales and service teams to support these markets.
Suitably skilled employees can be hard to find, prompting ANCA to design its own apprenticeship training program. A number of graduates now hold key positions within the company.
Patman attributes ANCA’s growth partly to a decision to outsource cutting tool management, supply and servicing to Sandvik Coromant, which has been the successful tool tenderer twice in succession.
The tender puts Sandvik Coromant in charge of ANCA’s cutting tool supply, stock management and keeping up to date with market changes. A large focus for Sandvik Coromant when onsite at ANCA is process improvements to ensure ANCA is utilising the best tools and is achieving the best possible results from the tooling.
There has been a particular emphasis on knowledge sharing with ANCA, in the form of Metal Cutting Technology training courses run by the local Sandvik Coromant team.
Sandvik Coromant has successfully implemented the CoroMill 745®, GC1130 and CoroMill® Plura heavy duty milling cutters this year alone, which have all led to a significant decrease in the production costs for ANCA.
Tom Cook, Technical Leader at ANCA has been working hand in hand with Sandvik Coromant to produce the best cutting process. “We decided to outsource our tool supply as to meet the market demand we needed to find efficiencies in our processes. Working with Sandvik Coromant has resulted in significant productivity improvements, with the ANCA team now able to implement programming techniques that are twice as fast.”
Paul Caveney, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at ANCA works closely with Sandvik Key Account Manager Darren Geer, and sums up the relationship: “Having Sandvik Coromant on site means that ANCA’s Manufacturing Engineering and Purchasing teams don’t need to worry about the daily stock checks, ordering, receiving and restocking of tooling and tool consumables into the production tooling cribs. This frees up our time to work on managing our production and purchasing processes.
“Furthermore, our engineering team has immediate access to first rate tooling and metal cutting strategies to inform our manufacturing processes. We get daily insights into the world of tool development, giving us a sneak peek into what is coming next. This knowledge is invaluable as it means we can plan to integrate the Sandvik product range for when they are launched to immediately take advantage of the latest technology. I see it as great service at good prices and without the unnecessary hyperbole,” Caveney concludes.
Sandvik Coromant key account manager Darren Geer works from ANCA most days to ensure employees have almost constant access to his knowledge and expertise. Geer works on a policy of supplying the best tool for the job.
“We’re like-minded companies, we’re both highly innovative and operate with our customer in mind,” Geer says.
“We have a unique relationship with ANCA, because while they purchase our tools, we in turn are customers of theirs, purchasing their machines to manufacture our tooling,” Geer explains.